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Ryugyung Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea

Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Latitude: 39.03652595084803
Longitude: 125.73107351173394

The Ryugyung Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea is one of the 20th century’s greatest architectural failures.  Initially designed as a beacon of progress and power for this misunderstood peninsula nation, the Ryugyung Hotel was unable to sustain construction when the North Korean government simply ran out of money.  Ground was broken in 1987, construction was halted in 1992, and the pyramid-style spire sat dormant and empty for sixteen years.  Not a window or an interior fixture graced this skeleton of concrete and metal, it stood only as a reminder what could-have-been for Pyongyang, but instead resulted in failure.  Fortunately, the Ryugyung hotel may not be abandoned much longer, as construction resumed in 2008 and the building now has windows and a nearly-completed exterior.  Due to the secrecy of the North Korean government, however, it is hard to say if the updates are merely cosmetic or reach further inside this lonely building.

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